Since 1941, the United Way of Greater Mercer County has been assisting residents with a slew of helpful programs and services.What's so great about the Garden State to you? Let us know using the form at the bottom of this report.

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The group started operating as the Princeton Community Chest before changing to its current name in 1994.

They have always used a three-step criteria for their programs:

  • deliver long-term benefit to the client
  • use evidence-based programs proven to work in other communities
  • deliver economic benefit impact positively for county residents

"We have many programs organized around education, income and health," President and CEO Herb Klein said.

He said thousand of lives across the county are touched each year.

"Our programs documented deliver close to $30 million of economic impact to Mercer County," he said.

Among their major current initiatives is providing free tax returns to residents of Mercer County, who make under $58,000. The program not only provides a complete and accurate return from a tax professional, but allows these residents to find out all tax credits they are potentially eligible for, especially the earned income tax credit.

"Most importantly, our goal is to get all of our citizens that are eligible for these credits, make sure that those people take advantage of them," Klein said.

He said the pace of tax returns that the United Way of Greater Mercer County completes continues to rise by 30 percent or more.

"Last year, we did 1423 tax returns," he explained. "This year, we will probably be north of 2000."

The tax return program helps steer almost $10 million back into the county.

Learn more about this great New Jersey group by visiting the United Way of Greater Mercer County website and Facebook page.